The throw of the dice this week lands on the un-said and underscored vignettes that pass through us. Those moments which make us turn away from screens, cameras, and cell phones, to observe life around us. Writers do this habitually, like addicts. It is our drug to examine what we feel no one else is seeing, feeling or thinking. These were last week’s vignettes.
I am outdoors on the patio of La Posada Resort. The cotton wood leaves on the trees, are dancing in setting sun light. At the far end of the dining patio, the lawn is staged, and the grass is covered with folding chairs. On stage, under a white billowing tent, teenage Flamenco dancers’ switchblade their black and coral skirts, as the pillow soft breeze brushes my face. I’m smiling without envy, a massive leap, because for most of my life, when I see professional dancers, I’m scolding myself, for not following through with my passion for dancing. Tonight, it is gone. My joy erupts to the surface. The dancers are the same age I was when I began training.
Their painted cheeks and darkened eyes are highlighted by the sunlight; they look like paintings that have come to life. The music is burning through centuries of Spanish history, through blood and battles, and the eruption of their passion for dance.
We have a convention of insurance salesman, dressed in Eddie Bauer, and the ladies in Jones of New York, seated like birds with their wings clipped. The men are standing in huddles, roaring laughter at inside jokes. Three dancers break from tradition and are now dancing to Billy Jean, striking their poses and facing our table. the leader, whom the others bashfully imitate, plays to us, and I want to tell her, don’t stop dancing, don’t give it up.
Seated in front of me is a couple in their late sixties. Transparent by dress and manner, they look farm-bred Midwestern. He wears a hard-working no fluff or formality expression, and his wife, probably is his high-school sweetheart. She appears painfully restrained-but she covers this up with a contented smile. The husband is staring at me, his lips are scornful, his eyes like that of a disbelieving police officer, or judge. I’m behind sunglasses, absorbing them through my mental lens, as if we were having a conversation. I imagine him on a tractor, and his wife behind a white worn picket fence picking fruits and vegetables. We’re separated by the cultural divide, but I want to ask the farmer how his life has changed, how the economy impacted his crops, his dreams. What did he dream about when he was a boy? Maybe dreams were a luxury he could not afford.
Beneath a black lake of stars, the breeze whips my hair, Rudy smiles at me, without a word I know what he’s thinking. The evening volumnized when the band kicked into sixties soul, and the insurance salesman are now dancing with the insurance saleswoman, and their wings are unclipped.
We left, crossing through the festivities to our porch, where the music resonated. Rudy turned on the blue lights.
“Don’t turn them on; they attract the moths.”
“I tell you what I’ll do and what I won’t do.”
“They’ll eat your eyeballs when you’re sleeping.”
“What! Where did you come up with that?”
“Don’t know. Look whose coming out to complain about the music?” Then we see our neighbor, stomping across the lawn in his red T-Shirt and Beret. Professor J, demands to voice his rights at every opportunity. I’ve seen him argue with a Police Officer in the middle of the street, at one in the morning. “You have an obligation to police Santa Fe that is your job!” He shouted at the officer for thirty minutes.
The night closes, like a play from the summer of 2012. Doesn’t sound like the summer of 1971, when we met on the streets, and just hung out, listening to radios, and watching people. I think living next to a hotel, has kept me closer to street life. I could do without the delivery trucks at six in the morning and the crashing bottles in the dumpster. It’s not unbearable any longer because La Posada is nowLa Familia.